It’s been a while since I did any book reviews here. Mainly because many of the business books I read in 2011 were okay, but nothing to write home about.

Thankfully that changed with the release of Brand Against the Machine, by John Morgan, which you can read about here, and easily one of my favourite business books of the last 18 months or so.

Joining John’s book is Humanize, by Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter, one of the best social media books you’ll read this year, if not the best. And here’s why.

Humanize Actually Makes Business Sense

A lot of books in the social media space read as if they’ve been written by someone that may have a great grasp of social media, but not necessarily a great grasp of how business works. Yes, there is a difference.

Humanize covers both requirements. The authors are folks that have been using the social space to really move the needle when it comes to business and non-profit use of the space. But they’re also veteran business people too – and it tells.

Where Humanize scores over other books in its category is that it doesn’t come at you with unrealistic dreams and goals.

Sure, it’d be nice to be able to converse with all your customers, and it’d be great to say, “Well, we can’t offer a return on investment number, because social media doesn’t work that way.” Except the former isn’t realistic, and the latter is an escape clause used by folks that have never had to run budgets and departments and account for every penny.

Both Notter and Grant break down every single component needed to make a social media strategy work for your business; but they break it down with facts, figures, and examples of how that can be turned into hard cash.

From small campaigns to large-scale media blasts, every business owner is catered for. Yet this is only one place where Humanize shines.

Humanize Steers Clear of Fluffy Bunnies

Like I mentioned earlier, Humanize doesn’t try and pretend that social media is this warm and fuzzy medium where everyone will get rich just by talking to each other.

However, it also makes a very important argument for true conversation – the one between teams, internal and external; the one where all voices have importance; the one where sales work with finance work with feedback forums work with trends in the marketplace.

In short, Humanize shows you why it’s important to be human to each other, without the touchy-feely crap that often comes out when people start talking about the relationship factor in social media.

(~ Note: Yes, I know and agree that relationships are key. Heck, it’s what my tagline is all about. But there’s a line between real business/consumer relationships that work and those that are just a never-going-to-happen pipe dream.)

Additionally, Humanize treats you like an adult. This isn’t a book that you’ll put on a coffee table for a quick read. No – this is a business book that you’ll have sat in your office along with numerous notes you’ve made from it to integrate into your business.

This is compounded by the additional educational worksheets you can download, making Humanize one of the most comprehensive books about social media and business you’ll pick up this year.

Want to succeed in social media? Get Humanize. It’s as simple as that.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy to review as well as asked for a praise quote for Humanize. The review, though, is my own.

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